Predator Proofing Questions

Runawaylobster

Songster
7 Years
May 2, 2012
1,296
40
153
Redland/Homestead Fl
I recently finished my coop and my chickees moved in about a week ago. here is a pic

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/669301/finally-the-grand-opening

since then I have had some issues.

First: I have 3 dogs, two like to sniff the coop but that is all. Unfortunately the third one
isn't so easy to deal with. He's a big boy at 26" to the shoulder and about 90lbs. He is
also very sweet (unless it has to do with chickens apparently). I attached 1/2" hardware
cloth with 3/4" staples with a power stapler. He has been jumping up the sides but it
seems to be holding up - is this enough or is there a better way to attach hardware cloth
that i can retrofit?

I want to put an electric fence around the coop, primarily to stop the dogs getting close
enough to upset the chicks, but i would also like the fence to be chicken proof as
well as dog proof. I have researched electric fences but I still am not sure how tall or
what type or how much electricity is best for this purpose. I think this will be the safest
thing to do, and would stop neighbors dogs jumping the fence and coming in, there are
many dogs around the area.

Lastly, the chicks seem to want to stay outside and not go inside at night. Last night
I put them in there individually but it was a mission with 25 chicks who are hanging out in
4ft area where I have to bend down to pick them up (certainly got practice doing squats
yesterday). Although the coop appears secure with the hardware cloth I can't sleep if
I let them stay outside... and I'm pretty sure it's dangerous??


any advice would be awesome so that I can get some sleep.....
 

1Rooster

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 19, 2011
51
0
29
Washington State MT Baker
Do not leave them out


You will also find if you have a light on the chicks will go in on their own when it starts to get dark might have to put them in a few times but they will go in on their own before you know it.
and as they grow they will go in to roost on their own even if free ranging. Good Luck!!
 
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Runawaylobster

Songster
7 Years
May 2, 2012
1,296
40
153
Redland/Homestead Fl
Thanks for the advice, I am going to try the light tonight and see if it works. My dogs are setters so they are bird dogs but
they aren't really very birdy.. Maybe he thinks he is flushing them out.

well it's getting dark I guess it's time to go out and do some squats... LOL!
 

1Rooster

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 19, 2011
51
0
29
Washington State MT Baker
Let me know how the light works
might even do that before your squats LOL see if it works.
You don't need a big light just a light they can see like a 15 or 25 watt
I leave mine on all night for them for awhile. then just turn it on before dusk and turn off if you want later.
 

MarieNC

Songster
9 Years
May 10, 2010
288
8
121
When we built our run we attached the hardware cloth with screws and fender washers. I don't think staples are secure enough. They may seem to have held up to your dog, but there are predators that are much more determined than your dog is. We also built a regular welded wire fence, about 5 foot high, around the perimeter of our chicken run and coop to keep the neighbor dogs out. They are way too interested in our chickens and ducks, and more than once I found one right on my heels as I was heading into the run.
 

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